We interrupt this edition of "Three And Out" with breaking news...
The Texas Longhorns just turned the ball over for the twenty-first time today.
A lesser man might allow the disgust over his alma mater's embarrassing performance to affect the rest of his day. A lesser man might rant about said embarrassing performance to anyone who would listen, whether the audience was interested or not, eventually reduced to babbling to his dog. A lesser man might have given in to his thrice-distilled demons and blown off this post to chase amnesia amidst the dim lights of any number of local taverns.
Fortunately for you, gentle reader, I've already done all of that today. The night's still young, so let's embark upon a fantastic journey of predictions that almost surely will not come to pass.
1. You know Arian Foster's getting the ball a bunch tomorrow. The Raiders know Arian Foster's getting the ball a bunch tomorrow. Lack of suspense aside, Arian Foster's going to finish with a bunch of yards.
You might recall that Arian was benched for the first quarter and a half when your Houston Texans played the Raiders in Oakland last year. Despite missing snaps as a disciplinary measure, Foster still managed to finish with 187 total yards and a pair of TDs. Andre Johnson missed that game, too, by the way.
While I don't foresee Arian reeling off another 72 yard TD run tomorrow, I do think he's going to have another massive day, and the Texans will lean on him to control time of possession. Pencil him in for 32 carries, 139 yards rushing, 6 receptions, 46 yards receiving, and 2 TDs.
2. The Texans' offensive game plan will be very similar to what they did in Oakland last year, especially with Andre Johnson out again. Matt Schaub will throw for less than 230 yards, but he won't turn the ball over, and he'll have a short TD pass to Owen Daniels. Kevin Walter will have more receptions than Jacoby Jones, and James Casey will chip in with a couple of catches, one of which will be for more than fifteen yards.
3. As UprootedTexan noted, Darren McFadden likes running to his left. I do expect the Raiders to target the center of the Texans' defense, but they're not going to completely ignore McFadden's preferences. Wade Phillips will key on McFadden all afternoon, and while McFadden is going to get his, he's going to have to work for it. Jason Campbell, meanwhile, is going to get sacked three (3) times (by Antonio Smith, J.J. Watt, and Mario Williams), and he's going to throw one interception (to Johnathan Joseph). The Raiders' offense will exploit the Texans' defense for a few big plays, but it's not going to be a track meet at Reliant tomorrow afternoon.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: I expect the Raiders to come out inspired and fired up in response to the sad passing of their beloved owner. If they win the toss, they'll want the ball, and I expect them to score on their first drive. Fortunately for the Texans, the game is four quarters long, and I believe the Texans will eventually pull away in the second half. Jason Campbell will have to match the Texans score for score, and that'll be when the Texans separate themselves and really get to Campbell. I'm calling Raiders 20, Texans 27.Raiders vs Texans coverage